Wednesday, September 27th,
Carefully, very carefully, his back leaning against the
wall, Evan carried Syrrah down the stairs, stepping onto the intermediate metal
platform between the two staircases, and then he continued on down until
directly before the metal door.
“Evan…you can let me down, now,” she said, her voice shaky,
even pleading. “I’m not going back up to the roof.”
“NO!” He pushed open the door. “I’m not listening to you.
You’re a threat to yourself. I’m getting us out of here.”
But surprisingly, she didn’t fight back or say anything. She
only wrapped her arms around his shoulders and nuzzled her head closer, near
Once through the door, he walked across the metal platform
to the stairs. He persisted to hold her tightly, securely, resting and sliding
his back against the side wall for support, and eventually made it down the
He walked over and stood before the door leading to the
hotel’s hallway. He listened. She began to speak, but he told her to wait, be
Like she had mentioned on the roof, he could hear the voices
of police, paramedics, and radio transceiver noise from down below in the
stairwell. They were heading up. A memory of those paramedic vehicles,
rumbling, rattling so close to the tent, after they were trapped in the hull,
irritatingly pushed into his mind. He shook his head once, making it go away.
“Evan, please,” she said. “I hear the police too. Just put
me down. I’m not going anywhere now. I don’t feel good anyway. Too much
“All the more reason I’m holding you,” he told her. “I’m
very strong, don’t forget. You barely weigh much.” He carefully opened the door
with his hand that was around her back, slowly pulling the door towards them
into the stairwell.
He held her closely and inched himself out of the doorway.
He looked to his right. More radio transceiver noise came from down the
hallway, but he didn’t see any police or paramedics, or anyone else. He turned
to his left. An elderly man and woman were coming their way, but he didn’t
perceive any threat from them.
He needed to get Syrrah and himself to the elevator, in the
left direction. They would have to pass by the elderly couple.
He walked fast but tried not to make a scene.
When he passed by the elderly couple, the man asked if
everything was okay, did they need any help, but Evan told them they were fine,
no help needed. Syrrah didn’t speak to them and fortunately the man and woman
gave no indication they recognized her, as Dana Zypher.
He soon stepped off the hallway and into the small cubicle
area for the elevator. He pushed the down button.
“Evan, please, let me go now.”
“No, baby. You’re not going anywhere. I’m sorry.” He stared
at the elevator’s doors. He inhaled deeply, and then exhaled a shaky breath.
“Lord, please don’t let anyone be in there now.”
“God, I hope not. This is such a hot mess.”
“Yeah, Syrrah. It sure is." He spoke quietly, so no one
nearby could possibly hear. “You should have just talked to me. We already knew
everything that was going on between us. We could have worked on this together,
you know what I mean?”
“I’m sorry,” she said quietly, crying softly again, her
breath so close reeking of that potent brandy. She placed her head near to his
neck again, by his left cheek. He could feel her tears wet his skin. “I’m
really sorry.” Her words came as a whisper.
His heart felt like breaking even more than it already
endured. He leaned in nearer to her and held her even more closely against his
The elevator made that arriving ping noise. “Well, here we
go.” The doors slid open. An older man, maybe in his 40s was in the elevator
car, but he simply smiled and exited. Evan rushed inside and carefully placed
his fingertip upon the close door button, doing so from beneath her legs. The
doors began sliding close. Before completely closing, he caught glimpse of a
police officer walking by, though the officer didn’t look into the elevator.
“He didn’t see us,” she said. “But he could ask that guy and
they communicate by radio, like security. They’ll probably be waiting for us
“Yeah, maybe.” Evan struck at the lobby level button. “This
isn’t the elevator we took to get up here, so it’s not by the lobby itself.”
The elevator car finally began its downward descent. “Thank you, Lord,” he said
quietly, noticing at the same time his body was shaking. He leaned his back
against the wall of the elevator. But this didn’t help to decrease the shaking.
“Evan, please, just let me down.”
“NO!” But he couldn’t resist the feeling to sink lower. He
slid his back down against the wall of the elevator, bending his knees
sideways, until holding her upon the floor. “I can’t let you go.” He held her
close. The trembling in his body finally lessened. He bent his knees up,
pressing her closer to his front. But then he slid his feet outward yet holding
her in his arms. “Sorry. Just rattled by all that happened.”
“Evan.” She held on to him tighter. “I’m…I’m not going
anywhere now. I mean, we’re in this elevator. I’m sorry I did this to you.”
He held his eyes steady on the digital elevator floor panel.
They were now passing by the eighth floor. “Doesn’t matter. Not letting you
“You still have blood on your neck.”
“Never cleaned it off. Soon as I heard yelling, screaming
and some a-hole telling you to jump, I rushed out of the room. Art called me.
He said they were trying to wake me but I wouldn’t wake up. That’s why it took
longer than it should have, to rescue you.”
She didn’t respond to his words and instead felt along the
cut on his neck. “It’s gone, like completely healed!”
He relaxed his arms a slight amount around her back and
positioned her legs so she could sit on the floor. “I thought maybe I had
dreamt it all, everything that happened to us in the hotel room.”
She gazed into his eyes, her beautiful brown eyes holding
puzzlement, maybe even fear, though yet glazed over by tears. “What are you?”
“I’m just Evan…a guy deeply in love with you, Syrrah.” He
stared unflinchingly into her gaze.
She lifted her hand and gently, softly cupped his face, and
then stroked her fingertips over the rough stubble of his skin a moment. “In
case you haven’t noticed, I’m a mess. A huge, wrecking ball mess. You really
shouldn’t have anything to do with me.”
He gave her a brief smirk. “Too late, baby. Way too late for
that. It’s already happened. Not turning back, not ever.”
Her eyes were filling with tears again. “Oh, Evan. What am I
going to do with you?” She closed her eyes and leaned against him, wrapping her
arms around his back.
He held her tighter and gave her a kiss on her forehead.
His kiss seemed to have provoked her; she moved from his
chest, and he made sure to loosen his embrace around her, and she lifted
herself closer, until softly placing her lips on his mouth.
Just be gentle, not like earlier on the bed! He
closed his eyes, wrapped her up in his arms and kissed her back, but with
subdued fervor, holding his hand gently behind her head, yet pressing her lips
deeper against his own lips.
She did the same, placing her small, warm hands around his
head and neck, making his lips press even closer.
He wanted to plunge his tongue deep into her mouth but felt
the elevator slowing down. And his previous thoughts on the roof slashed
through his mind. Heidi. Extreme passion. Wilmot. Rez punk. Now look what you did.
But she gently pressed her tongue against his lips, into his
mouth, enticing him, until he couldn’t stop himself and tongue-kissed her back.
Felt so confusing. Why was she so contradictory in her behavior? Don’t get
involved with me, but I’ll lead you on anyway? Then again, she did have quite
the amount of brandy in her system.
The elevator doors suddenly slid open. Evan opened his eyes.
He tried to pull back from her, but she barely let him. He
could taste the brandy in her sweet, beautiful kiss. She was obviously not
herself, the intoxication skewing her awareness.
A man stepped in, an older African
American man, like in his 50s who for a moment reminded him of Nahas.
Syrrah finally ended her kiss and turned to the man.
“Hey,” Evan said. “We apologize. We’ll get up.”
But the man quickly hit the close button before Evan could
make a move. The man knelt next to them as the doors slid close. “Look.” He
spoke mainly to Evan. “Don’t know what’s going on here, but the reason I closed
the doors, not trying to scare you. But, I know this is Dana Zypher, and she
was on the roof. Cops and medics everywhere. The media is going crazy too. It’s
a circus out there. And I’m assuming you two don’t want to be seen with them
now, since you’ve made amends, so…” He glanced at the elevator door and then
back at them. “I would suggest heading down to the basement, the parking
garage. They’re probably not down there, yet, but I know the whole front desk
lobby is getting full with them.”
Evan nodded once at the man. “Thank you, sir.” He looked at
Syrrah. “We need to stand up.”
“Sure, that’s okay.”
Aware of the man at all times, Evan scrambled up to a
standing position. He kept the man in his peripheral view and took hold of
Syrrah’s hands, helping her to stand up likewise.
He faced the man, the man’s height about the same as
“So, the basement?” the man asked without delay.
Studying the man’s demeanor, quickly, Evan’s gut instinct
told him this guy was legit, not some undercover cop, first responder, or some
other dude with an angle. More importantly, he could hear police and hotel
workers congregating not far from the other side of the elevator doors. “Yeah.
Sure. Hit it.”
The man struck the basement level button, and the elevator
began descending. “We will be arriving near the Hennepin Avenue exit for the
parking garage,” the man told them. “But as you are probably aware of, there
were a ton of Dana’s fans clustering there. I would head to the south-east end
of the parking garage. It will take you up to some back alleyways.”
“Where we walked in from,” Syrrah said to Evan. “Remember?”
“Yeah. I do.”
She moved closer to Evan and wrapped her arms around him. He
in turn did the same to her, relishing in her closeness.
The elevator stopped. The display panel showed they were at
the basement level.
“You two stay back, against the side of the elevator,” the
man said. “I’ll open the door and check outside.”
“Okay. Thank you,” Evan said. “Appreciate your help.”
Though, honestly, it felt a bit odd the man wanted to help so much.
The man clicked the button to open the doors. He stood so he
blocked any view to them. He stepped outside. He looked both ways for a few
seconds and then stepped back in. “I don’t see anyone, right now. But I see
flashing lights and I hear the same voices I heard earlier. The fans. Police
conversations. I would get going, now.”
After thanking the man again, Evan guided Syrrah out of the
elevator and headed her toward the south-east end.